Alien: Covenant is due to reach cinemas in May 2017, so the fact that 20th Century Fox has yet to release any kind of trailer for the upcoming sci-fi sequel is sending fans into a state of excitable desperation. With overwhelming positive reactions to the Prometheus sequel coming out of preview screenings, lovers of the franchise are keen to see the first look footage soon and fortunately, we might not need to wait much longer...

According to Trailer Track, the clip has been officially rated and will reportedly feature the track, David Bowie's Nature Boy. Other publications have also indicated that the trailer may drop this weekend, considering that's when the embargo on articles surrounding the footage and trailer that screened for press lifts. What a perfect Christmas present for movie fans that would be!

The updates come at the same time actor James Franco has pretty much confirmed his involvement in the project. Talking in an interview with HeyUGuys, the Why Him? star stated: "The news is out? I don't know if he's trying to trick me into talking about it... I remember, when I was a kid, watching Alien for the first time, and that was huge," he gushed. "I still watch it. I just watched it in the past month over at [Quentin] Tarantino's theatre, and... it's such a good movie!"

Previous reports have suggested that if Franco does in fact appear in Alien: Covenant, he will be seen as Branson, captain of the titular Covenant space ship and husband of Katherine Waterston's character, Daniels.

Speaking of Daniels, and if those details weren't enough to get people excited, Fox have also released (via Entertainment Weekly) new stills from the film, including the first up-close look of Waterston as Daniels. The other images present more obscure visuals, depicting a scene where armed soldier-types appear to be stalking through some fields and another showing what look like cryo-sleeping pods.

#KatherineWaterston is taking aim in a new photo from #AlienCovenant! 😱👽 The #RidleyScott directed film is looking to continue that cover-your-eyes kind of fear that the film franchise brings. 🙈 The movie is about the crew of a colony ship who think they’ve found a great new planet when — surprise! — it turns out to be a terrifying one they need to escape. 😯 Click the link in our bio for more details! 📷: MARK ROGERS

A photo posted by Entertainment Weekly (@entertainmentweekly) on

What's really intriguing fans however, are the numbered codes that the other three pictures were captioned with. What could they mean? With Scott's pretty cryptic and secretive promotional roll-out so far, it's almost impossible to know at the moment.

220512052104 #AlienCovenant

A photo posted by 20th Century Fox Fr (@20thcenturyfoxfrance) on

130112062104 #AlienCovenant

A photo posted by 20th Century Fox Fr (@20thcenturyfoxfrance) on

Also starring Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Noomi Rapace and Guy Pearce, the film itself is set to centre around the crew of a colony spacescraft, who travel to an uncharted paradise. Soon after they arrive there however, they discover the land is dark and dangerous and the "sole" inhabitant is android David (Michael Fassbender, reprising his role from the 2012 film). Although, in true Alien style, there will be some extraterrestrials lurking about to wreak havoc too, of course...

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